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Birds in Fall Paperback – 1 Mar 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company; Reprint edition (Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743287398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743287395
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,203,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

""Birds in Fall gives us a whole world -- our world -- alive and full, and on the verge. Brad Kessler enters the souls of the lost, the found, and the rest of us who move from one state to the other and back. He cups all of his characters in one elegant, strong hand and pulls us through a rich and moving story with the other."

-- Amy Bloom, author of "A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You: Stories



"Exquisite and erudite..."Birds in Fall" is a luminous tribute to Kessler's abiding and respectful faith in the power of storytelling...."

-- "Los Angeles Times"



"A tender, contemplative, lyrical novel."

-- "San Francisco Chronicle"



"A tender, contemplative, lyrical novel."

-- "San Francisco Chronicle"

"Without melodrama, without trivializing his characters, Brad Kessler transforms a story about an airline disaster -- anguish, bereavement, and being held hostage by grief -- into a chorus of hopeful voices, full of tenderness, gentle humor, and terrific writing. "Birds in Fall" is a remarkable novel."

-- Anthony Doerr, author of "The Shell Collector" and "About Grace"

""Birds in Fall" gives us a whole world -- our world -- alive and full, and on the verge. Brad Kessler enters the souls of the lost, the found, and the rest of us who move from one state to the other and back. He cups all of his characters in one elegant, strong hand and pulls us through a rich and moving story with the other."

-- Amy Bloom, author of "A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You: Stories"

"Brad Kessler has crafted a perfect gem of a novel."

-- "Library Journal"

"Once in a blue moon a book like "Birds in Fall" comes along: a wise, sly, and beautifully written novel. Kessler's story, ostensibly about a plane crash, turns out to be a much deeper, much richer retelling of an ancient myth. Mysterious, oracular, this breathtaking book contains multitudes."

-- Annie Dillard, author of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek"

"A tender, contemplative, lyrical novel."

-- "San Francisco Chronicle"

"A tender, contemplative, lyrical novel."
-- "San Francisco Chronicle"

"A dramatic and strikingly poetic novel of nature's glory and humankind's imagination."
-- Chicago Tribune

"Shockingly beautiful...Kessler takes our breath away."
-- The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Migratory birds flutter through Brad Kessler's elegant new novel, an avian metaphor for the strength of the human spirit."
-- The Economist

"Some books get better with rereading. Brad Kessler's lyrical Birds in Fall is one of them. Birds in flight and humans in free fall are this novel's engines of grace."
-- O, The Oprah Magazine

"A tender, contemplative, lyrical novel."
-- San Francisco Chronicle

"Exquisite and erudite...a luminous tribute to Kessler's abiding and respectful faith in the power of storytelling."
-- Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Brad Kessler's novel Birds in Fall won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His other books include Lick Creek and The Woodcutter's Christmas. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The Kenyon Review, and BOMB, as well as other publications. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written in a flowing style, the book runs at many levels, with mythology, psychology and emotions intertwined in a moving and uplifting story. Rarely have I enjoyed a book so much. I have reread it three times, which for me is a first.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was one of my random purchases. There is nothing Random about it. After the first chapter i.m thinking, why has no-one told me about this book? Why has no-one written a review?! I've just purchased another copy so i can pass it on to another book lover. Someone must share this beautiful book with me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 56 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A powerful, understated story about grief 24 Mar. 2016
By Jessica Weil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At one point in the novel, Ana Gathreaux, an ornithologist whose husband recently died in a plane crash, describes the kingfisher’s migration: Unlike the other bird species that begin migrating earlier in the fall, the kingfisher lingers for as long as it can. The rivers begin to freeze, and then finally, it too must go.

Birds of Fall is a powerful yet subtle story about grief. About a group of mourning strangers who gather at a remote inn after the plane carrying their loved ones crashes into the nearby sea. Together, they form a unique and impenetrable bond, united by their sorrow. They grieve for as long as they can until, like the kingfisher, the time comes for them to move on.

Appropriately melancholy without feeling melodramatic or twee, this is a moving story about people helping each other through grief and piecing their lives back together in the wake of tragedy.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book You'll Want to Read Again 23 Mar. 2010
By AMG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is both heavy and light. At a mere 230 some pages, it cries to be read in one sitting.

But the characters are so exquisite, their pain and loss painted so vividly in unforgettable scenes that carry multitude meanings, that I simply must read it again.

The premise: a jet crashes along the coast in Nova Scotia just as the seasons are changing from fall to winter. A weary innkeeper who is just about to close his place for the season keeps it open for relatives of the plane crash victims who travel there to find closure.

As a reader, you can be like one of those curiosity seeking folks who travel to the accident scene just to see what's happening. Or if you have experienced the death of a loved one, you may identify with the haunting and beautiful group of inn guests who are mourning their losses.

Each scene speaks volumes. I don't want to ruin it for anyone so I'll just give you a glimpse of one that I can't get out of my mind. The relatives travel in a Red-Cross provided mini-bus to a place where victims' belongings are spread out on tables, grouped in like categories. The author says it looks like a flea market or garage sale.

One of the characters stops to look at a table full of wrist watches and mutters a profanity.

What's wrong, another asks. They're still ticking, the first one observed. And....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kessler Should Stop Messing With His Goats and Write More Books 22 Aug. 2011
By Andrew Schonbek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This guy is a great writer. Why then the dearth of published material? Because he's lost in a Vermont reverie with a bunch of goats and absorbed in the production of cheese. He eloquently discussed that lifestyle in Goat Song.

Enough already! Time to move on. Give us another novel...

Birds in Fall is a haunting and ethereal book. With an exceedingly deft touch, Kessler tells the story of an airliner lost at sea, and the community that comes together in grief at a country inn near the crash site. In so doing he probes the depths of the human spirit and ultimately what it means to be alive.

Birds in Fall is an uncommonly good novel. The ability to write like this trumps the production of even a very fine chevre.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Soars 28 April 2007
By Brett Benner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It takes a book like this to remind me what a five star rating should represent. From the gripping opening chapter aboard an airliner moments before it plunges off the coast of Nova Scotia, to the arrival of a group of fmaily members to a bed and breakfast they've been put up in while they attempt to find out what happened to their loved ones, there was a lump in my throat that woud only be temporarily relieved when his words brought tears to my eyes. What I loved so much about this book beyond the fantastic writing when the genius in blending all the various cultures, between the Bulgarian man who lost his wife, to the Taiwanese couple who loses their daughter, the Mother nearly breaking your heart with her grief. Such a cross section informs so much about the way we as people cope and learn to grieve.

That's not to say the book is melodramatic or depressing, in fact it's far from it. And the thrust of the story and how we move through our grief at such a tragic loss is what makes this book so wonderfully beautiful, and the best book I've read so far this year.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant measured novel about how grief can bring people into a new community 4 Jan. 2014
By Molly Brown Burks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read and re-read Birds in Fall and it just gets better each time. Each friend I have shared it with has returned it with tears in their eyes and always the same words - "thanks for giving me one of the best books I've ever read." Haunting from the first few pages, it develops like a slow waltz weaving the grief of disparate people into a beautiful tapestry of new lives. Stunning!
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